James Tapsell-Kururangi  ©

Image courtesy of Delfina Foundation

This year sees the launch of a new opportunity for an early/mid-career New Zealand curator, to spend 12 weeks in London, from 3 April – 23 June 2023.

In partnership with Delfina Foundation and Metroland Cultures and with the very generous support of Kent Gardner and British Council Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific, the fully funded residency (which includes return travel to London, accommodation at Delfina Foundation, and living costs) is for emerging / mid-career curators interested in testing and developing new approaches to a collaborative practice bridging artists and communities.

The 2023 residency has been awarded to James Tapsell-Kururangi (Te Arawa, Tainui, Ngāti Porou) by Delfina Foundation and Metroland Cultures. James is currently the project facilitator of Papatūnga, Te Tuhi’s programme for arts practitioners based at an urban marae in Howick, Tāmaki Makaurau. Find more information about him below.

“We are really excited to welcome James Tapsell-Kururangi to London in April, where he can learn from and likewise share knowledge to, the community of 7 co-resident artists and curators staying alongside him at Delfina Foundation." - Delfina Foundation

“We look forward to following the outcomes of the experience James will have in London and the legacy of this on the wider visual arts community in Aotearoa. We also look forward to James sharing his unique perspective with his peers while in London. At this pivotal moment for galleries and museums in the UK, new voices are emerging to challenge traditional directions and explore how the sector engages with diverse communities and addresses the many challenges that face society today." - Natasha Beckman, Director, British Council, Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific

About the residency

The residency offers opportunities to gain training, skills and experience, while embedded in the curatorial workings of Metroland Cultures for 3 days/week. Metroland Cultures’ programme sits at the intersection of art and community, testing and pioneering new approaches that centre partnerships, strategies and approaches for community and artist collaboration. The residency will provide unique professional development opportunities related to exhibition organization, project management, artist liaison support, research and public programming. 

For the balance of the week, the successful applicant will pursue their own research through a bespoke programme delivered by Delfina Foundation as part of their ‘open’ Spring 2023 residency season. This programme will include guided visits to museums, galleries, non-profits, artist-run spaces and studios, as well as trips to institutions outside London; opportunities to meet and engage with artists, curators, academics and researchers through organised presentations, studio visits, events and meals; and professional development activities including: presentations and crits, portfolio reviews, and mentoring activities. Situated within Delfina Foundation, the resident will also benefit from career growth, mentorship as well as peer-to-peer exchange with other practitioners in residence.


Image courtesy of Delfina Foundation

About James Tapsell-Kururangi

James is currently the project facilitator of Papatūnga, Te Tuhi’s programme for arts practitioners based at an urban marae in Howick, Tāmaki Makaurau. James developed the pilot programme for this in 2021, drawing on te ao Māori concepts of collectivity such as whakawhānaungatanga (establishing relationships with others), sharing of kai and kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face exchange), to facilitate the time he spent together with six artists. The result was the exhibition, Te Pō, at Parnell Project Space in November 2021.

At Wairau Māori Art Gallery in Whangarei, James recently co-curated, with Karl Chitham, the solo exhibition, Kei Muri Nga Mea I Te Rā, by Shane Cotton,one of New Zealand’s leading Māori artists. In the exhibition text, These Painted Histories Which Blossom In The Sun: A collection of thoughts on Shane Cotton’s exhibition Kei muri ngā mea i te rā, James traced the ontology of Light through the Māori stories of creation, and the Māori art histories of painting and colonisation. Following Te Pō, James curated Ata Koia! at Te Tuhi in Pakuranga, in February – May 2022.

James is also a practicing artist whose moving image works build from his family whakapapa, his geological ties to place, sites of significant histories and oral histories told to him by his family. Recent exhibitions include A portrait with my Father 2022 at City Gallery Wellington for the group show Matarua curated by Shannon Te Ao, and He Waiata Aroha, 2021 at Enjoy Contemporary Art Gallery.

About Delfina Foundation

Based in the heart of London, Delfina Foundation is an independent, non-profit foundation dedicated to facilitating artistic exchange and developing creative practice through residencies, partnerships and public programming.

Founded in 2007, and with residencies at the core of their work, Delfina Foundation creates opportunities for emerging and established artists, curators and writers to reflect on what they do, position their practice within relevant global discourse, create career-defining research and commissions, and network with colleagues. Delfina Foundation forge international collaborations to build shared platforms to incubate, to present and to discuss common practices and themes.


About Metroland Cultures

Metroland Cultures is an arts charity based in and serving the London Borough of Brent. Metroland Cultures' vision is that Brent is known globally for its arts and culture, and its people and communities are recognised and celebrated for shaping it. Their mission is to build, share and support art and culture in Brent: supporting communities to amplify stories of Brent life, and working with artists to tell new stories.

Four building blocks inform Metroland Cultures’ approach:

  1. We start with Brent people and celebrate what’s already here. Our work is grounded in the stories, needs and histories of people. We listen, learn and act with our community. A big part of Brent cultural life is people doing it for themselves. We find ways to support people who are doing this.
  2. We connect artists with communities. We bring artists and grassroots organisations together, to hold conversations about what the borough needs, and use art to make it happen.
  3. We stand for social justice. We make space for difficult conversations, and work towards dismantling inequality anywhere we find it including at Metroland. We want everyone to be able to access the culture we make.
  4. We’re on the side of the future. Brent has one of the youngest populations in London so our work has to equip young people with the skills and confidence that they have the right to make art and culture.

Metroland Cultures’ intention is for the programme to sit at the intersection of art and community, testing and pioneering new approaches that centre partnerships, strategies and approaches for community and artist collaboration. They do this through music and visual arts with an annual festival, young people’s programme and artist development programme. At the heart of everything is a culture of learning, development and transparency with their constituencies.  

About Te Tuhi

Te Tuhi is a leading platform for contemporary art in Aotearoa New Zealand, with a programme consciously and continually shaped towards rigorous, adventurous, and socially engaged artistic experimentation. Alongside the gallery in Pakuranga, Te Tuhi studios offers artists spaces to work in Parnell, adjacent to the Parnell Project Space, an exhibition, performance and event space located on the platform at Parnell Station, Tāmaki Makaurau. Te Tuhi also works extensively with multiple communities in East Auckland.  Te Tuhi is pleased to be the New Zealand arts organisation instigating this new residency for a curator interested in how art can work outside of the traditional gallery setting and is extremely grateful to Kent Gardner and British Council Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific for making it possible.